This month many in the international sphere are joining the meetings of the Stockholm +50, commemorating the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Colleagues from QUNO Geneva will be joining this event marks, which marks 50 years of global environmental action. AT the meeting, QUNO’s Peace and Disarmament Team are joining advocacy efforts to make the case for why human rights and conflict sensitivity are central to sustainable and just responses to plantary crisis. The team write:
Stockholm+50 presents an urgent opportunity for policymakers to make bold decisions on climate change and the environment. Our planetary crises have impacted every element of our global systems and our responses must be cross-sectoral in their approach. How we respond to these challenges can also be an opportunity to cooperate and build peace.
We share these policy messages on behalf of a group of 18 organizations and nearly 30 individuals representing the Environment, Climate, Conflict and Peace (ECCP) group at the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, containing bold and practical policies for action at Stockholm +50 and beyond.
Peace and conflict sensitivity are inextricably linked to environmental policy because:
- The environment and policies around it can fuel conflict.
- Damage from conflict has a significant negative impact on the natural environment.
- Cooperation to respond to climate change and manage natural resources can contribute to building peace.
- A just transition and prosperity for all is realised by enhancing peace.
- Responding to environmental and climate challenges requires an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach.
The responsibility of the private sector in environmental policy:
We would also like to take this opportunity to highlight the role and responsibilities of private sector actors – as key stakeholders in taking sustainable and just environmental and climate action by:
- Conducting ongoing conflict mapping and human rights and environmental impact due diligence assessments (HRDD) of business activities throughout supply chains and investments and ensure that their activities are in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and ensuring exit strategies prevent and mitigate harm.
- Ensuring meaningful engagement and inclusive consultation of affected communities, including human rights and environmental defenders, small-holders, women, indigenous people and youth; and enhancing transparency by making information on business activities publicly accessible and easily understandable,
- Taking steps to ensure that their investment decisions are consistent with a pathway toward a low-carbon economy and are committed to reducing endless growth through adoption of a degrowth business model.
For further information see the team’s latest blog: “Stockholm+50: why human rights and conflict sensitivity are central to sustainable & just responses to planetary crisis” & their contribution to the White Paper on Environmental Peacebuilding “The case for human rights & conflict sensitive approaches to business activities’ – a joint contribution to the future of environmental peacebuilding”, both written with Swedwatch and Frient.
Below, you can also read a 2-page policy brief on building conflict-sensitivity into environmental policy.